High Cotton Kitchen - Paris, Texas

Help our dear friends Richard and Regina Lee fund High Cotton Kitchen in Paris, Texas.

For the past 22 months, Richard and Regina Lee have put everything they have into High Cotton Kitchen, the soon to be restaurant next door to Kroger, in Paris, Texas.  They were on the cusp of opening when Covid-19 hit personally, jeopardizing Richard's health and the future restaurant. 

Richard is one of the 7 people in the town of Paris, Texas that tested positive for Covid-19. On March 22 he came down with sudden flu-like symptoms that were so debilitating that he could barely move from his bed to the bathroom. On April 2nd, he went to a doctor's office for testing, which also revealed that his oxygen saturation levels were between 76 and 80 and was admitted to the hospital immediately. He was told by a doctor that had he not sought treatment that day, he probably would have died by morning. Richard spent 6 lonely and isolated days in the hospital, as the hospital had closed to all visitors.  Richard reflects optimistically, "I have to to tell you that I had an overwhelming sense of gratitude and thankfulness to God during this time. I felt His presence and comfort! So many people were praying for me and my family."  Richard is so grateful for Dr. Singh, the Infectious Disease Specialist, who quickly started him on a combination of Hydroxychloroquine and Azythromycin, as they waited for the positive confirmation of Covid-19, that was received on April 4th.

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Richard is home now but is still on oxygen. He is getting stronger and improving daily. He says he expects to be back to normal in a week or so, but he is still not able to maintain oxygen levels on his own.  The prayers and support from friends and family during this time were appreciated beyond measure. Because of the positive diagnosis, the health department required the entire household to be quarantined without leaving the house for 14 days, as well as twice daily reports of temperatures. Church family, at Leesville Baptist Church,  and friends brought groceries and meals to ensure that the Lee family were well cared for during this time.  They even brought flowers and tomato plants for their girls to plant!

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The Lee family found Paris, Texas around 22 years ago and though they didn't know a soul, moved from the Dallas area to raise their 9 children (currently ages 37 to age 9). Though they have had several other businesses, it was always Richard's desire to own a restaurant. He has the true gift of hospitality, attention to detail, care for others and the love of good food that would make this a natural fit. So when the old McClanahan home, owned by Paris Junior College, came up for sale, the Lees jumped at the chance to make this dream a reality. The before and after transformation and expansion of the building is amazing! (See videos below.)

The Lees wanted to give the people of Paris, Texas and the surrounding towns something fresh and new. A restaurant with southern warmth and charm that reflects the agricultural roots of the area and the down home friendly folks that make the south so desirable is what they hope to achieve. The family restaurant will feature a large front porch and a massive back patio deck where guests can dine. There will be a recreation area where guests can enjoy corn-hole, horse shoes and ping pong with their family.  The nostalgic inside has 184 seats with vintage antiques and prints on the repurposed ship-lap and beaded board walls that were harvested from a house in Atlas, TX, built in the 1860s. Almost everything inside the building is from vintage, repurposed materials, including the hostess stand that was made from the original case of the pipe organ that was in the house when the Lees bought it. The 1917 pipe organ was transplanted to the house in approximately 1971 by former owner,  Mr. F. I. McClanahan. Many of the pieces and pipes have also been used for the restaurant decor.

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The restaurant menu will feature classic Southern Comfort food prepared from scratch using only the finest, freshest meats and vegetables that can be found, with a focus on locally sourced farm to table options as much as possible.  The menu features traditional foods such as burgers and chicken fried steak to smoked salmon, panko crusted white fish, craft sodas and delectable desserts. They plan to offer breakfast, lunch and dinner, 7 days a week with nice sized portions that leave patrons with full bellies and service that leaves them smiling and satisfied.

The project has required more money than what the Lees had initially budgeted. In addition to the Lees using their life savings, they borrowed money against their home and took a short term note on the building  to finance the major renovation.  Prior to  the shutdown from the Coronavirus pandemic, the Lees had investor luncheons scheduled with potential investors who got cold feet after the national shutdown. All of the uncertainty put the Lees in a tailspin where they now face the risk of losing their home and the restaurant building if they do not open soon.  They are selling personal items just to meet their basic, personal needs.  

For the restaurant, they need approximately $70K finish the last little bit of construction in order to obtain the Certificate of Occupancy (striping the parking lot, signage, landscaping,  fencing, minor electrical/plumbing,  required guttering, miscellaneous items,  etc. ). They need a minimum of $130K+ to hire and train the 70 employees needed and initial operating expenses.  They need to be open within 90 days or they could lose their home and restaurant building.  Richard is still talking daily with people about investing. He has been encouraged by friends and family to start this Go Fund Me, as many don't have a lot of money but want to help as they can. Per Richard, "We feel confident that restaurants in Texas will be open for regular business in 90 days. We are making changes to space people farther apart and make sure that cleanliness and sanitation is the highest priority."  #smallbusinessrelief

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Please help the Lees by making any size donation to help them open the doors of High Cotton Kitchen and to support the local economy with 70+ new jobs in Paris, Texas. 

See the incredible transformation and expansion of the High Cotton Kitchen building:

BEFORE and AFTER slide show



Sneak peak of the inside (so far)

Exterior view of the building and parking lot

Donations ()

  • GoFundMe.org 
    • $500 
    • 2 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $150 
    • 7 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 27 d
  • Doreen Borel 
    • $20 
    • 1 mo
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 1 mo
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Kyle Jones 
Organizer
Paris, TX
Richard Lee 
Beneficiary
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